Former Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that he won’t let Democrats use the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol to “distract attention” from their “failed agenda,” in some of his first comments since the committee investigating the Capitol riot held a hearing centered on his role leading up to and on that day.
In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Pence called Jan. 6 a “tragic day,” but also said that he and former President Trump “parted very amicably” on the last day of their administration despite what the committee laid out was a weeks-long campaign by Trump to pressure his vice president to overturn the 2020 election results.
Aides to both men rejected the legal theory being touted to do so, which led to the violence on Jan. 6 in which Pence had to be ushered to safety while overseeing the certification of Electoral College votes in his role as vice president at the time.
“We parted very amicably on Jan. 20,” Pence told Fox News. “I don’t know if the president and I will ever see eye to eye on my duties on Jan. 6, but, in the aftermath of that tragic day, we sat down, and we talked through it. And then we rolled our sleeves up and finished the final weeks of our administration working together.
“And we parted very amicably. And we spoke in the months that followed us leaving office — we spoke with some regularity,” Pence said. “And now, I think we’ve kind of gone our separate ways over the last year, but I’ll always be proud of the record we created.”
The day after last week’s Jan. 6 committee hearing focused on Pence’s role, Trump criticized his former vice president, calling him a “human conveyor belt” for not supporting efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Fox News spoke to Pence at the University of Club in Chicago, where he was giving a speech on Monday, during which he bemoaned President Biden’s economic agenda, in which he called for a “change in direction.”
Pence is widely seen as laying the groundwork to launch a presidential campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. He has been a regular at Republican events in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa, and in recent days he has held events alongside the governors of Arizona and Ohio.